Martin Schulz, the president of the European Parliament, has written to José Manuel Barroso, the president of the European Commission, asking him to stop the Commission’s plan to allow so-called ‘mega-lorries’ to cross borders in Europe.
The objection is not because of the decision, but because of the procedure. Siim Kallas, the European commissioner for transport, announced last month that the Commission has changed its legal interpretation of EU laws on vehicle weights and measurements to allow extra-large lorries to cross internal EU borders.
MEPs have objected, saying that doing so through a legal re-interpretation rather than a proposal bypasses the Parliament’s powers of oversight.
“Irrespective of the advantages or disadvantages of allowing such traffic, the procedural choice to ‘re-interpret’ existing legislation would deprive Parliament of its right to co-legislate,” Schulz said in his letter to Barroso. He said the Commission should instead propose to change the law as part of a planned revision of the directive in the autumn.
Under EU law, member states can allow lorries that are longer than 18.75 metres or heavier than 40 tonnes (with cargo) as part of temporary trials. Several member states in northern Europe want to synchronise their trials and allow the lorries to move between countries, but previously the Commission interpreted the rules to mean that these trials can only be conducted within member states.
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